Traditional Arts Touring Grant

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Traditional Arts Touring Grant


The minimum grant request is $1,000. The maximum request is $5,000

Applications will be accepted and reviewed until available funds are depleted.

What are Traditional Arts?

The South is home to an abundance of traditional art forms whether they are indigenous to the region, or reflect the traditions of recent immigrant communities. Traditional arts are shared aesthetics, practices and values of families, geographic communities, occupational groups, ethnic heritage groups, etc. Traditional arts are learned orally, or by observation and imitation, often through a master artist instructing an apprentice. They are usually maintained without formal instruction or academic training. Some traditional arts have a deep-rooted history with little change, while others are constantly evolving and adapting to their changing environment.

Examples of traditional art forms (performing and visual arts) being practiced in the South include Afro-Cuban batá drum, Catawba pottery, Zydeco music, Indian Bharatha Natyam dance, Anglo American quilting, Peruvian retablos, African American gospel music, Chinese zheng, Cherokee storytelling, and Minorcan netmaking, among others.

Program Goals

The Traditional Arts Touring Grant Program works to increase the public awareness, understanding and appreciation of the traditional arts in the South, through funding projects that bring a traditional artist/ensemble and a scholar/folklorist for multi-day residencies in Southern communities.

This funding program is open to a wide variety of organizations, including community cultural organizations, schools/colleges/universities, libraries, museums, presenters, etc. The program serves both communities and traditional artists. Priority consideration is given to support new applicants and underserved communities.

South Arts staff can also direct you to potential resources and networks to identify traditional artists and scholars/folklorists. Applicants are strongly advised to contact Teresa Hollingsworth (Director, Film and Traditional Arts), or 404-874-7244 x 14 to discuss your project before you submit your application.


Nonprofit organizations, official units of government, and educational organizations, in South Arts’ nine-state region are eligible to apply. South Arts’ nine-state region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Organizations must have not-for-profit, tax-exempt status, or be an official unit of local, county or state government.  Governmental organizations must provide proof of government status. Educational institutions (schools, school systems, colleges and universities) are eligible. 
All applicants must have a DUNS number. Applications will not be accepted from organizations that do not have a DUNS number. More about DUNS numbers and how to get one >>
All applicants will be asked about the status of their readiness plan. If an applicant has a readiness plan, a brief narrative is required. For more information about readiness, please visit ArtsReady.
Eligible projects must include the following:(1) Engagement of a traditional artist or ensemble (meeting the description above of a traditional art form) that resides in South Arts’ region, but not within the applicant’s state for, at minimum, one public presentation and one educational activity
(2) A residency of two days or more
(3) The public presentation must include contextual/scholarly content by a folklorist or scholar
(4) Projects must take place in the applicant’s state
Projects may include performing (music, dance and storytelling) and/or visual arts/crafts.
Organizations, which have failed to submit final reports for any previous South Arts grant by the time of this application, will not be considered for funding in this grant cycle.
Organizations that fail to properly acknowledge South Arts’ AND the National Endowment for the Arts’ support in programs and press materials will not be considered for additional funding.
Organizations are eligible for only one Traditional Arts grant through the fiscal year July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020.
Organizations currently receiving funding through South Arts’ Performing Arts Touring or Literary Arts Touring program are not eligible for this grant program.


Applicants are encouraged to contact Teresa Hollingsworth (Director, Film and Traditional Arts) prior to submitting their application to discuss their project. She may also be a resource for information on traditional artists, scholars and folklorists in the region.
Traditional Arts applications can be submitted beginning May 15, 2019 for projects taking place between September 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. The project must take place by June 30, 2020.
There are two grant deadlines: July 15, 2019 and December 5, 2019.
Applications will be accepted and reviewed until available funds are depleted. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
The project must include both a public performance/demonstration/exhibition involving both the artist(s) and the folklorist/scholar, and an educational/outreach component. For the public presentation(s), a minimum of 60 minutes of presentation by the traditional artist/ensemble and the scholar/folklorist is required, and the event(s) must be open and marketed to the public and dedicated to serving a wide audience. Please note if a grantee fails to meet this requirement, funding will be rescinded.


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Disclaimer: COCA does not endorse any artists, organizations, or programs listed herein, nor imply stature through their inclusion in this website. While we have made every effort to ensure that this information is correct, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information.

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